January 22, 2013
Petition relevant 80 years on
Ratana Pā near Whanganui is gearing up to cater for up to 30,000 people over the next four days as morehu and supporters celebrate the birthday of church founder Tahupotiki Wiremu Ratana.
While Labour politicians have long been coming to the hui, in recent years it has become the first major event for politicians of all parties.
Church spokesperson Andre Mason says it’s still very much a people’s celebration, but it's also a chance to discuss issues of the day.
In light of the current constitutional review being conducted by a government advisory panel, there will be a focus this year on Ratana’s 1932 petition calling for the Treaty of Waitangi to become part of statute law.
"We will be discussing that on the marae. It will be part of the whaikorero. We will be looking at the negatives and positives of that, and that petition had a spiritual element also. We will cover those things, and there is a whare on the marae, which is the mana that reminds us of this petition," Mr Mason says.
Copyright © 2013, Uma Broadcasting Ltd